Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

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Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

Session 2: Impact and getting your message across


You will start this session by applying your learning to the motor racing video from Session 1. Then you will move on to explore two key questions. The first is what makes spoken and written messages effective? Clearly, this is connected to getting your message across in an optimal way, so you will discover how your written messages can have most impact, and you’ll use the example of email as a communication channel since it illustrates characteristics that are also used in business and social media writing.

The second question you will respond to in this session is about the impressions you give to others when interacting with them: how does the persona you convey during interactions influence your communication? This is about how others might perceive you, even though they might not know you that well. For instance, it’s likely that you already have an impression of Chris Hoy and this would influence how you communicated with him.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • use observational skills to interpret work interactions and relationships
  • understand how the structure, sequencing and tone of messages, whether in writing or in speech, are a key feature of how clear and concise they are
  • recognise how the way in which you create impressions in your communication has an impact on how others respond to you.

Before moving on, watch the following video featuring award-winning journalist Sue Mott and Open University academic and former Olympic coach Ben Oakley.

Download this video clip.Video player: e119_1_video_session2_intro_640x360.mp4
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In this section, we ask the question, what makes communication effective? So Sue, how would you respond to that question?
Well, I would say that you have to be, first of all, crystal clear in what you're saying, but also entertaining, also engaging. Because you are out there competing with a lot of other things for people's attention. And unless you make it really fun or just grabbing people's attention, it will wash over people.
From your experience, tell us a bit more how you sort of put that into action.
Well, there's a big difference between the spoken word and the written word. For one thing, if I'm writing an article or even an email, I've got the luxury of time to craft it and shape it a bit. But if I'm talking, as I am to you now, then it's just all going to come tumbling out. And things could go horribly wrong. And it's riskier.
Yes. I know from personal experience, you don't always manage to say things in the right way. But has it got something to do with how you present yourself to others?
Yes. I think it absolutely does. I think you have to present your best self to people to elicit the greatest response from them. And you don't always know what that will be. And it's a very difficult thing to do, because sometimes you're intimidated by someone you're talking to. Or you may be nervous going into it. I was always very terrified when I interviewed Prince Philip.
I can imagine.
Yeah. And sometimes, you're just having a bad day. So you have to present your best self, so that you are saying to them, please feel free to trust me. Please, open up to me, because I am listening and paying attention.
So to some extent, you're sort of an actor. You're presenting your persona that you think might have the best results.
Well, actually, you are. Yes. You are acting to produce your best self in order to get the best results. But it sounds misleading. But in fact, it's quite innate. We do act differently with different people in our social life.
And I guess we get better the more and more we live these experiences. So there's lots of really interesting things to explore further there. And we'll be looking at those during this section.
End transcript
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